Move Like This is the seventh album by American rock band The Cars, released on May 10, 2011. The album is their first since 1987's Door to Door and features all of the original band members except for bassist and vocalist Benjamin Orr, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2000. The album reached the top ten of the Billboard 200 and peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Top Rock Albums chart; a single from the album, "Sad Song", reached number 33 on the Billboard Rock Songs chart. Following the release of the album, the band launched an eleven-city tour of North America.
According to Paste magazine, Ocasek said that he was "amazed at how we clicked when we got back together."Exclaim! has noted that The Cars' Facebook page featured a picture of producer Jacknife Lee, "which suggests that he will be producing the new album." According to Rolling Stone, Lee produced five of the songs from the album; The Cars themselves produced the others.
The Cars did not add a new bassist to the lineup to replace Orr; instead, the album's bass parts were programmed or performed by Hawkes and Lee, with Hawkes playing a bass once owned by Orr. While Ocasek and Orr split vocal duties on past albums, Ocasek sings lead on all the tracks from Move Like This. In a Rolling Stone interview, Ocasek said, "I was aware that on half of the new songs, Ben would have done better than I did. But we never wanted anybody from the outside." Orr was given special thanks in the liner notes: "Ben, your spirit was with us on this one."
According to Billboard, the album was recorded in engineer Paul Orofino's studio in Millbrook, New York. Additional recording sessions were held in Los Angeles. The title of the album comes from a line in the song "Too Late"; one of the working titles for the album was Sharp Subtle Flavor. Ocasek decided to title the album Move Like This as a reference to the band's reputation for not moving around very much onstage.
In October 2010, the band released a one-minute clip of "Sad Song" and a 73-second sample of another track from the album, "Blue Tip", on their Facebook page; a snippet from a third track, "Free", was later posted on the band's page.FMQB described "Free" as a "return to the classic Cars sound that fans know and love."
On February 17, 2011, the band posted the full video for "Blue Tip" on their Facebook page. The first single, released in March, was the track "Sad Song".Exclaim! magazine comments that "[d]espite the title and lyrics, it doesn't sound particularly sad, as it contains a cheery beat and a catchy mix of synths and guitars."
Move Like This was released on May 10, 2011, and debuted at #7 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. The album received generally positive reviews from critics: in a three-and-a-half star review, Rolling Stone praised the "skillful restraint" of the band and Lee's production work, describing the album as "taut, sleek, seamless, [and] efficient".The A.V. Club awarded the album a "B" rating, praising the "catchy" "Blue Tip" and "Sad Song", and noting the latter song's similarity to "My Best Friend's Girl" from the band's 1978 debut.Allmusic reviewer Stephen Thomas Erlewine rated the album four out of five stars, describing the album as "as bright, infectious, and tuneful as the Cars at their prime."Spin, however, granted the album a 5 out of 10 rating, criticizing the "clunkiness" of Ocasek's lyrics.NPR's Elizabeth Nelson called Move Like This a "fine new album" and singled out "Blue Tip" as "an incandescent pop gem" with a "brilliant" musical structure and "an absolutely relentless sing-along chorus".
In April 2011, the band announced a North American tour to support the album. The eleven-city tour began May 10 in Seattle and concluded May 26 at the House of Blues in Boston. The performances and set lists were met with mixed reviews: Hollywood Reporter reviewer Erik Pedersen found Move Like This to be a "surprisingly good" album but described the May 12 Hollywood Palladium show as "icy" and unenthusiastic.San Jose Mercury News reviewer Jim Harrington described the band's performance at Oakland's Fox Theater as "incredibly flat and dispassionate", but praised the band's "solid" musicianship.
Songs performed on the tour include Move Like This tracks "Blue Tip", "Keep on Knocking", "Sad Song", "Free", "Drag on Forever" and "Hits Me", as well as material from the band's 1970s and 80s albums. On the tour, Orr's bass parts were performed by Hawkes on keyboard and bass; the vocals on songs originally sung by Orr ("Just What I Needed", "Let's Go" and "Moving in Stereo") were performed by Ocasek.